Rating scale is one of the enquiry form. Form is a term applied to expression or judgment regarding some situation, object or character. Opinions are usually expressed on a scale of values. Rating techniques are devices by which such judgements may be quantified. Rating scale is a very useful device in assessing quality, specially when quality is difficult to measure objectively. For Example, “How good was the performance?” is a question which can hardly be answered objectively.

Rating scales record judgment or opinions and indicates the degree or amount of different degrees of quality which are arranged along a line is the scale. For example: How good was the
performance?.

Types of Rating Scale:

1. Numerical Rating Scale:
One of the simplest type of rating scales is that where the rater checks a number to indicate the degree to which a characteristic is present. Typically, each of a series of
numbers is given a verbal description which remains constant from one characteristic to another. This type of scale is useful when the characteristic to rate can be classified into a limited number of categories.

2. Descriptive Rating Scale:
This rating form uses descriptive phrases to identify the points on a graphic scale. The descriptions convey in behavioural terms what the individuals are like at different step
along the scale. It is also called ‘Behavioural Statement Scale’.

3. Graphic Rating Scale:
The distinguishing feature of the graphic rating scale is that each characteristic is followed by a horizontal line. The rater’s evaluation is indicated by placing a check or
cross on a line to indicate presence or absence of a given trait.

4. Ranking Methods:
Some rating procedures do not require a printed scale. Probably the most applicable and best known of these is the simple rank order method. With this approach, the
pupils (or products) being rated are merely ranked in the order in which the rater estimates they possess the characteristics being judged.

5. Standard Scales:
In standard scales a set of standards is presented to the rater. The standards are usually objects of the same kind to be rated with pre-established scale values. For example, in case of rating the drawing skill in science, a set specimen can be provided
for comparison.

a) The percentage of group scale:
Here the rater is asked to give the percentage of the group that possesses the trait on which the individual is rated.

b) Man to Man scale:
The rater is asked to rate the ratee by comparing him to the person mentioned on the scale and assign the ratee his position.

6. Forced Choice Scales:
In forced choice rating method the rater is asked to only mention whether the ratee has one or more traits. Instead of deciding whether particular quality of a person
object is above average, average, or below average certain observable characteristics are stated for rating.

These statements differ in the degree of that quality, e.g.
– the student is very much regular in attending the fitness programme.
– the student is not regular in attending the fitness programme.
– the student rarely attends the fitness programme.

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Requirements of a good rating Scale:

1. Traits must be clearly defined. The specific mode of behaviour must be defined properly.

2. Number of divisions on the scale should be neither too numerous nor too few. Optimum number of divisions is perhaps five to seven.

3. The rater may be asked to quote instances in support of his judgement.

4. Rater should be instructed to omit ratings of characteristics, if he had no
opportunity to observe the traits.

5. The rater should be instructed to avoid the generosity and the logical error and the error due to halo effect.

6. Rating from several observers should be combined wherever possible.

7. The directions should be clear and comprehensive.

8. Items may be arranged in ascending or descending order from left to right.

9. Well informed and experienced persons should be selected for rating.

10. The number of characteristics to be rated should be limited.

I 1. In the rating scale card, some space may be provided for the rater to write some supplementary material.

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Advantages of Rating Scale:

1. A simple form of rating scale is commonly employed in judging contests of various kinds such as speaking and music competitions.

2. Rating Scales have been put to extensive uses in the field of rating teaching and teachers. This process extends to the selection of teachers and the prediction of teaching success.

3. Rating Scales are also used for testing the validity of many objective instruments like paper-pencil inventories of personality.

4. These scales are also employed for school appraisal including appraisal of courses, practices and programmes.

5. The rating scales are advantageous in several other ways. They are –
i) helpful in writing reports to parents.
ii) helpful in filling out admission blanks for colleges.
iii) helpful in filling out student needs.
iv) helpful in recommendations to employers.
v) helpful in supplementing other sources of ~understanding~about the child.
vi) helpful in their stimulating effect upon the individuals who are rated.

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Limitations of Rating Scale:
1. People differ markedly in their ability to make ratings.

2. People differ in their reliability as subjects for ratings.

3. Immediate emotional reactions affect ratings.

4. Self-ratings tend to be too high on desirable traits and too low on undesirable traits.

5. Raters are frequently unable to justify ratings or are apt to give absurd rationalizations.

6. Generosity Error -The raters would not like to run down their own people by giving them low ratings. The result is that high ratings are given in almost all cases. The raters are also inclined to be unduly generous in rating aspects which they have had no opportunity to observe.

7. The Halo Error -It is difficult for rater to get rid of the halo effect which causes him to carry qualitative judgement from one aspect to another. Halo effect appears frequently when the rater has to rate a number of factors on some of which he has no evidence for judgement.

8. The Error of Central Tendency -There is a tendency in some observers to rate most of the ratees near the mid points of the scale.

9. Stringency Error -The opposite of generosity error may be called stringency error. Some raters are so cautions and hesitant that they have a tendency to rate r all individuals low.

10. The Logical Error -It is difficult to convey to the rater just what quality one wishes him to evaluate. An adjective or adverb may have no universal meaning.